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World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War | [Max Brooks]

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.
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Publisher's Summary

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of 30 million souls, to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet.

He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years.

Ranging from the now infamous village of New Dachang in the United Federation of China, where the epidemiological trail began with the 12-year-old Patient Zero, to the unnamed northern forests where untold numbers sought a terrible and temporary refuge in the cold, to the United States of Southern Africa, where the Redeker Plan provided hope for humanity at an unspeakable price, to the west-of-the-Rockies redoubt where the North American tide finally started to turn, this invaluable chronicle reflects the full scope and duration of the Zombie War.

Note: Some of the numerical and factual material contained in this edition was previously published under the auspices of the United Nations Postwar Commission.

©2006 Max Brooks; (P)2006 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Winner of Audio Publishers Association 2007 Audie Award, Multi-Voiced Performance
  • Audie Award Finalist, Audiobook of the Year, 2007

"Hard to put down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A literate, ironic, strangely tasty treat." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Horror fans won't be disappointed: like George Romero's Dead trilogy, World War Z is another milestone in the zombie mythos." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (5915 )
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Story
4.5 (4125 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 08-12-10
    Joe Lancaster, PA, United States 08-12-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    153
    10
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    Overall
    "I don't get what the other reviewers were reading"

    The book was good and well written but not what I expected. To me, there isn’t anything scary listening to someone give a recount about their experiences with the zombies. I guess I prefer to be in the action instead of hearing 6 hours worth of interviews with the survivors. The author should have written their accounts as flashbacks instead. Now that I could recommend but if your looking for blood, guts and gore; this ain’t the ticket.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-02-10
    Joseph Pittsburgh, PA, United States 08-02-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    34
    4
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    Overall
    "It may be abridged, but it's still worth it."

    I almost never buy abridged versions of books because the process of cutting out parts of the author's story just doesn't make sense to me. The hordes of positive reviews for this one nudged me into giving it a try though, and I'm glad I did. World War Z was amazing in that it broke away from long and involved personal stories in a zombie apocalypse and instead gave snippets of stories from here and there around the world during different stages of the war. That all wove together to create a story that was very comprehensive, from what it was like for the few refugees who managed who evaded most of the zombie problem to the highest levels of various governments where the big decisions are made, without ever being dry.

    I think the most impressive thing for me were those that I saw as the real heroes of the book. It wasn't the gun toting zombie shooters who managed to survive the whole war (though they were awesome too). It was the bureaucrat's who stepped up and shouldered the stress and responsibility for the survival of the species. You could almost feel the crushing weight on their shoulders when they spoke or were spoken about and the decisions they had to make were revealed.

    Like everyone else, I'm disappointed that this was abridged, but if it's an option between reading the abridged version or not reading it at all this book is definitely worth the audio credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-29-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    1
    Overall
    "Still a great story, but suffers from abridging"

    Max Brooks wrote a wonderful and terrifying book of fictional stories from survivors from World War Z. When I first read the book, I was astonished by the realism of stories and how seemingly intimate they were. I felt as I would have been the narrator myself. This audiobook doesn't immerse me into that world as the book did. And because this was abridged, it was also shorter and to much of my disappointment the stories that were the most "horrifying" were left out. It made this audiobook a bit dull to my taste. Voice talents were absolutely brilliant, especially Alan Alda. I recommend this audioook, but if you can, buy it also as a book to get the rest of the stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Michaels Rochester, NY 07-12-10
    C. Michaels Rochester, NY 07-12-10 Listener Since 2009

    SeeJayEmm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Good Read - Nice Voice Work"

    I enjoyed this book thoroughly. The story kept me hooked the entire time and the voice work was top notch. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) was some of the faux accents were tough to listen to for extended periods.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Florida, MO 07-06-10
    Blake Florida, MO 07-06-10 Listener Since 2010

    Blake

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Entertaining"

    I read the paperback version and loved it. When I joined Audible, I just had to download the audio version. This was one of the most entertaining books in recent memory. I highly recommend it, even if you are not a zombie fan. No need to be with this book.
    However, I really wish there was an unabridged version because there were so many characters from the novel that didn't make it into the audio version that really delivered 10x the amount of emotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina United States 04-30-10
    Christina United States 04-30-10 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to stop listening"

    "World War Z" is an interesting documentary-style look at what could happen if monsters were real. It includes interview with military, civilians, politicians and experts who react to a world-wide attack of zombies in the aftermath that followed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Oxon Hill, MD, USA 01-05-10
    Lawrence Oxon Hill, MD, USA 01-05-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it!"

    What more can I ask for than zombies pushing the feeble hummies to the brink of destruction.
    So I didn't like the voice work of that one narrators, it didn't sway my love of humanity fighting to survive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan D. Gilbert Huntington Beach, CA USA 08-19-09
    Ryan D. Gilbert Huntington Beach, CA USA 08-19-09 Member Since 2012

    RiddleofSteel

    HELPFUL VOTES
    121
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    79
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    Overall
    "A lot of fun, and a nice change of pace"

    I'm not usually into anything that has zombies, but I read a lot of the reviews and thought this might be a good change of pace from my normal listening habits. I was not disappointed. The production was top notch, and I was very happy about the overall writing of the book. It had a lot of good moments, with very few parts that I felt were predictable.

    If you have an open mind, and want to change up what you would normally listen to, this book was a lot of fun and well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-13-09
    07-13-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    3
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    Overall
    "Great performance, just wish it were unabridged"

    I love this type of audiobook...the multi-reader performance piece. It really brings a book to life and I think this a perfect showpiece to get someone into Audible. The story itself keeps you interested and engrossed in the world that is created. The only downsides to the book are that I'd say maybe 2 or 3 of the characters readings were a little (I mean a little..still not bad) flat or mechanical, like you could tell they were reading..not performing...on the other hand, some were awesome, like they were REALLY acting out the part, my second downside is that it REALLY should have been unabridged...it's a bit short. Otherwise, it's like I said, a VERY entertaining book that makes you want more.

    Conclusion: -1 star for the lack of unabridged version and a couple of acting quirks, well worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ajax AZ,USA 06-30-09
    Ajax AZ,USA 06-30-09 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    11
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    "World War Z"

    What a great ride this story takes you on . if you liked "Night of the living dead" or "I am Legend" you'll appreciate the good yarn this is. All of the celeb voices really were part of the experience too but weren't necessary make this a great listen. The documentary style really was carried off quite well and added to setting the mood. Don't pass this one up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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